Sacramento May Start 311 Number

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 5, 2007

Local public safety officials say 911 emergency communications systems suffer from peak overloads. One solution is to introduce a 311 number for non-emergency calls.

Gina Knepp is heading the city’s 311 program. She describes it this way: 

"If you have a burning building call 911. If you have a burning question about city government call 311." 

Knepp says a 311 call center would reduce the number of non-emergency calls being handled by 911 operators. 

"There’s a huge burden on the 7 digit non-emergency line that people utilize to report things like flooded drains, barking dogs and that clogs the system because the same public safety dispatchers have to tend to those calls in addition to the emergency calls." 

Tuesday the Sacramento City Council will vote on whether staff should start buying software to implement the 311 program. San Francisco and a few other cities around the country have already opened 311 call centers.